Katie Couric - Looking Into Firearm Legislation Everyone Can Support in "Under the Gun"

May 24, 2016 - Katie Couric 05/24/2016 Views: 7,089

Katie Couric talks about common-sense firearm safety and explains how some weapons dealers circumvent regulations in her documentary "Under the Gun." (5:07)

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Please welcome Katie Couric.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Welcome... welcome to the show.First of all...

It's so nice to be here.This is my first time.

May I say, this is such an honorhaving you.

I mean, you are...you are television.

You are... You are the personwho sits on the opposite side.

This is-this is really,really, uh, an honor for me.

-So, thank you for being here.-Well, that's awfully nice

of you to say. And how are youenjoying your new gig?

I'm having a great time.They're treating me well.

-We're having a good timetogether. -Yeah? Good.

(cheering, applause)

The, uh, the documentarythat you made

is truly spectacular.

Every time you see a documentaryaround, uh, gun control

or gun rights in America,

it's... it alwaysseems to be very partisan.

You set out, though,to make a documentary

that was all about the facts,

all about the journalism,all about the stories. Why?

Well, you know, there...I think there's so much noise

surrounding this issue.And by the way,

thank you for devotingso much of your show tonight

-on this issue.-It's my pleasure.

Because I think we allneed to talk about it.

And instead of talking at eachother, talk with each other.

And I couldn't understandthe disconnect, Trevor--

after Sandy Hook-- how 90%of the people in this country

favored universalbackground checks,

and yet Congresscould get nothing passed.

So, this disconnectbetween public opinion

and our elected officials.

And I think there's been...this-this debate

has been going on for so long,as you described earlier

in the show, that we reallywanted to explain some of the...

even just the-the termsthat are bandied about.

Like, not only universalbackground check,

-gun show loophole,uh, bad apple gun dealer. -Yes.

So that people could beeducated, understand the facts--

it's a very data-driven film--

and then they couldhave a reasonable,

rational conversation.

And as we saw,as Desi pieces... piece...

Desi's piece pointed out,74% of NRA members

favor universalbackground checks.

The NRA only representsfive percent

of gun owners in this country.

And so if we stopdemonizing each side

and kind of put the factsout there, we were just hoping

it would set the table for a...for an intelligent conversation.

Informed conversation.

It-it is a conversationthat people struggle to have

a lot of the time in America.I mean, as soon as...

Well, one of the reasonsis gun control. You know,

you hear the word "gun control"and everybody's like...

(exclaims) And so nowit's sort of "gun safety", uh...

"gun safety"or "gun violence prevention"

-is sort of more preferred.-Do-do you think that is...

that is one of the biggestproblems-- is just

-the branding around it?-Well, I think...

"Control"-- people automaticallyassume that the-the government

is going to come inand control their guns,

whereas the government's saying,"We're actually trying

to control the processof getting a gun, not your gun."

Yeah, I thinkit-it's partially that--

the branding, if you will.But also the narrative

that's been establishedby the gun lobby.

So, the-the sort of fearand paranoia it instills.

Any time there'seven a bit of discussion

about common-sense regulation,

they gin up certain extremists

in their membership,

or extreme gun rights advocates,

and get them in...whipped up into such a frenzy,

primarily becausethey want people to go out

and buy more guns,'cause they really work

more for the gun manufacturers

than the gun owners,in my opinion.

-It really-it really is true,and, uh... -(applause)

Yeah, that's fine.Uh... It's...

It's a powerful message,because one thing that struck me

in the documentary was a pieceof the conversation

I don't think I'd ever seenexplicitly had before,

and that was aroundreally singling out

the bad applesin terms of dealers.

Because the ATF and the FBIin the documentary talk about

how there are many gun dealerswho are great

and work with the ATFand the FBI.

They are common-sensegun dealers who say,

"Someone walked in, bought aload of ammunition and firearms,

-there's something strangegoing on." -Right. And I...

And then there are a fewwho explicitly say,

"We know we're involvedin straw purchases.

"We know these peoplemay probably re-sell

-these weapons, but we'llturn a blind eye." -Right.

We're talking about the-the...And-and what's

an interesting statisticin the film

is five percent of gun dealers

are responsible for 90 per...

selling 90% of the cri...uh, guns

that are used in the courseof committing a crime.

-Yeah. -And so it's justthis small group

that needs to...needs to be shut down.

We profile one in Chicagocalled Chuck's gun store.

And, uh, you know,I-I still don't quite understand

why the authorities can't domore about these gun dealers

who are unethicaland sell, you know,

dozens of guns, partiallybecause it's not really

against the law to sell anunlimited number of firearms.

What is against the lawis to turn around

and sell them illegallyon the streets, so...

It's such a...it's such a fine line, and, uh,

there's so muchto talk about on this,

so if you don't mind I'mgonna keep you here with me

for a little bit longer.We're gonna continue

this conversation on the Web.

If you are still with uson television,

Under the Gun is available

on Epix and epix.comthrough the end of May

and will be available on iTunesand Amazon beginning May 31.

Katie Couric, everybody.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)